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||IMDB Rating: 7.0/10 from 1,522 votes
||Release: 13 November 1916 (USA) /
||Genre: Comedy, Romance, Short
||Director: Charles Chaplin,
||Stars: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Eric Campbell
||Synopsis: Three movies are being shot simultaneously and Charlie is an overworked scene shifter. The foreman is waited on hand and foot until all the shifters but Charlie go on strike. A girl looking for work pretends to be a man and helps Charlie. Charlie discovers her gender and falls in love with her. The foreman thinks they are homosexual and in the ensuing fight they become involved in a long pie throwing scene from one of the movies in production. The frustrated workers dynamite the studio. Written by Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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"Behind the Screen" is an excellent Charlie Chaplin short feature, with
plenty of good slapstick and much more. The setting, with Charlie working
as a hired hand in a movie-making operation, lends itself to a lot of good
comedy, and there are plenty of standard gags plus a lot of material that
creatively uses the props and situations of the setting. It also works very
well as a self-satire of the industry (as suggested by the title), making
some subtle and other not so subtle points. Finally, there is some nice
interplay between Charlie's character and his superiors, especially his
burly, brutish immediate supervisor, played by Eric Campbell, an amusing
actor who was one of Chaplin's best supporting players.
Most of these earlier Chaplin films (referring to 1914-1916, the years when
he made the majority of his short features, making ten or more each year) do
not get very high ratings. It's true that some of them are mostly routine
slapstick, but there are also a few gems like this one that combine
slapstick with substance. Most of the movies from these years can be rather
hard to watch, because the film often survives in poor condition, and so
it's understandable that even the best ones might not always stand out as
clearly from the rest. But this one is a fine film, and definitely
recommended for Chaplin fans.
Tags for Behind the Screen Full Movie
, Edna Purviance
, Eric Campbell
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